Purpose: To measure corneal sensitivity after laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) to determine the time required for recovery of this parameter.
Setting: Ohshima Hospital of Ophthalmology, Fukuoka, Japan.
Methods: Corneal sensation was measured with a Cochet-Bonnet-type esthesiometer in 75 patients before and 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after correction of myopia by photorefractive keratectomy (n = 21) or LASIK (n = 54).
Results: Photorefractive keratectomy did not affect corneal sensation. In the LASIK group, a large and significant decrease in corneal sensitivity was apparent at 1 month (P<.05). Although corneal sensitivity appeared to have recovered slightly at 3 months, it remained significantly decreased (P<.05). By 6 or 12 months, the corneal sensitivity in LASIK patients was not statistically different from the preoperative values in the study patients. A significantly greater decrease in corneal sensitivity was apparent in the LASIK patients with a nasal hinge than in those with a superior hinge (F = 7.54, P<.01). Corneal sensitivity was in the normal range in 31.5% of LASIK patients at 3 months and in 57.4% and 82.1% at 6 and 12 months, respectively.
Conclusion: Recovery of corneal sensation had begun 3 months after LASIK and appeared complete after 12 months.